Wednesday, November 26, 2008

巧克力重擊 - Chocolate Rap

I just got a chance to watch 巧克力重擊 (Chocolate Rap) tonight.  It was quite interesting.

I'll update this post with more info when I do a little more research.

Update 12/18/2008:
After 15+ minutes of googling, I didn't find any useful information.  I don't have the time to look at the chinese sites for information.  So here goes.

The movie is about Chocolate, a rather talented b-boy.  Recruited into a breaking dance troupe, Chocolate finds a career with his skill.  After an accident ends his dancing career, Chocolate decides to give up dancing.  Following in his father's footsteps, Chocolate starts working at his father's factory, ice making and ice cutting.  Chocolate picks up breaking again for recreational purposes and befriends King Kong.  Ultimately, King Kong becomes "evil" and they have to settle it in a competition.  In the end, Chocolate realizes that breaking isn't about others, but about self preservation.

The story was quite intriguing and Chocolate's "coming of age" was interesting.  The conflicts were both internal and external.  In the end, you walk away with both happy and scratching your head.

My favorite scene in the movie is when Chocolate and King Kong are breaking in shallow water.  The song in the background is a famous Tawainese song that takes a Modern and old skool approach.  I was digging it.

I think I see Chocolate in Planet B-boy as part of the Taiwan crew.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

YouTube's "Watch in High Quality" = Amazing!

I frequent YouTube to watch a lot of clips. Especially the Taiwanese variety shows.

But the shows are normally very bad quality and I can barely make out the guest and hosts.

But YouTube introduce the "watch in high quality" option months ago.  Its just now that many of the regular posters are starting to give this option.

It really is night and day.  You go from blurry to clear.  Its not like regular TV to HD, but quite the same effect.  You're like wow, I can't go back.

Props to those that upload in high quaility.  Keep it up.  You're doing the rest of the world a great service.

I am only subscribing to peeps that upload high quality now.  There's no going back.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The 1st Los Angeles Taiwanese Film Festival

I recent found that Los Angeles will have its first Los Angeles Taiwanese Film Festival!  It will be held from December 12-14 at UCLA.

Some of the movies being shown there have been quite high profile, including:
  • Jay Chou's directorial debut, Secret
  • The 2006 Taiwan Film Festival Winner, Do Over
  • 2007 Art movie Reflection
  • Taiwan movie box office king of October, Cape No. 7
Some documentaries round out the rest of the time, along with some festival stuff like panels.

Everything is free except for the Cape No. 7 screenings.  I can see why, its the rage of Taiwan and Taiwan see it as an excellent film to promote tourism.

If I weren't so old and have a baby due around that time, I'd guarantee that I'd be there.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Facebook Caching

So, I primarily use Facebook as my social networking tool. I wrote a post about Friendster a few months back and why you should be using Facebook.

Since I am in the web field, I know a thing or two about data caching. Facebook, after all these months still continues to have problems here.

I friends activities are updated in a weird way sometimes and my activities somethings do not show up right away.

So, in layman terms, when things get updated, the public (your friends and yourself) may not see it for a few moments. In technical terms, the cache isn't being refreshed.

I hope Facebook arch team figures this out. It's not a major annoyance, but it is one. It's tricky and I know with the type of web traffic they get, it's something they pull their hair out about all the time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles

I don't recall the 70s, but LA has had Chinese Language TV since the 80s on KSCI, Channel 18.  Since the 90s, they've added cable stations and the 00s, digital channels and broadbrand's KyLin TV.

Most recently, IAVC is starting a 24/7 digital station on channel 44.6.  Here's an excerpt of their media kit release:
"On December, 1, 2008, IAVC will launch one 24/7 Chinese channel on UHF Ch.44.6, TV viewers in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Ventura County may watch IAVC’s digital-quality channel without paying any fees."

That's pretty cool since I don't have cable or dish.  I rely on free TV.  Up until a couple of days ago, they were on this repeated commerical that looped every so often.  They seem to be showing regular stuff now.   But there's the big "TEST" in the middle of the screen, so it looks like they really are waiting until 12/1.

Back in the 90s, channel 62 (KRCA) use to have chinese broadcast.  But I think that the increase in cable stations may have played in a role in those broadcasts ending.  I am just guessing.  I use to watch a show called "Flash Beat" with a host named Harry.  Ironically, Harry and I went to the same high school and church, but didn't know each other from there.  But were introduced by a mutal friend years later.

If you're in the LA area, you can get Chinese Language TV for free, on cable, on satalite, or broadbrand.  Its just a mater of looking for it.

Related Posts:
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, Part 2
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, Part 3
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, April 2009
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, May 2009
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, October 2009

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Destined To Love You on LA 18 KCSI (命中註定我愛你)

I recently finished 命中註定我愛你. I did an initial review back in September. In my September post, I noted that it might be shown in early 2009 on my hometown's public Chinese station, LA 18 (KCSI). Boy was I wrong. Probably because its a highest rated Taiwanese drama to date, they let it jump to the front of the line.

My guess is that its not going to have English subs. There are copies being sold on ebay and abroad with English Subs (Malaysian version), but KCSI normally broadcast the Taiwan versions. Unless there's a Taiwan version with English subs, it'll be Traditinal Chinese subs. We'll find out in 2 days when they broadcast the first episode on Wednesday, November 17, 2008.

Although I already have it on DVD, its good that the general Chinese public here in LA will have a chance to see it. Hopefully, it'll give LA 18 a ratings bump.

Monday, November 17, 2008

基因決定我愛你 - My DNA Says I Love You

I saw 基因決定我愛你 - My DNA Says I Love You a few months ago. I was a fan of Robin Lee's The Shoe Fairy and was anticipating this film.

DNA was quite weird, but was ultimately enjoyable. I think that the casting of Yu Nan was out of place as the other 3 stars were from Taiwan. You can tell the dialect difference right away (at least I could) along with the rest of the bit players.

The setting however was in China somewhere and not in Taiwan (at least from what I can tell).

The story follows 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen that look for love in different ways. The 2 ladies are co-workers and roommates. They work for a company that provides pills that modify behavior. A novel concept. Hijinx ensues and love is lost & found for both our female protagonist. The male counterparts almost seem like eye candy as the story is really centered around the 2 female leads.

It's an "art" film and really makes you work to understand it all. But its worth the mind trip and I have a lot of anticipation for future Robin Lee films.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Heights - Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Diamond Bar

I've never lived in a Chinatown.  My parents and immediate relatives have not either.  So, its funny that there are so many Chinatowns around the world.  I do try to see them when I can.  I've been able to check the Chinatowns in LA, SF, NYC, Chicago, Sydney, Seattle, and KL.  I missed my chance when I was in the Dominican Republic.

But in the Los Angeles area, "chinese" culture or inhabitants don't live or even frequent a "chinatown".  "Little Taipei" is a nickname given to suburb cities that have a high concentration of Taiwan immigrants, both 外省人 and  本省人.

Among friends that I grew up with that lived in these Little Taipeis, we sorta refer to the area as "The Heights".   They consist of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Diamond Bar.  The main drag is sorta in a shape of a square that's Fullerton, Colima, Nogales, and Gale.  There are drags on Azusa, Hacienda Blvd, and Grand, but pale in numbers to those of that main drag.  The only reason Walnut and DB are included is that the cities include many many Chinese/Taiwanese folks that end up going to Rowland Heights anyways.

The term was used when many of us started going away for College.  But when they returned for the holidays and summer, we would say, "when you coming back to the heights?"  We even named our now defunct mailing list "The Heights".  I would say that 90% or more of these guys are no longer in the Heights area (are you close to the area you were primarily raised in?).  I seem to be one of the few that's left.

You'll get your supermarkets, food places, and all those video stores!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I happened on 南拳媽媽 recently because of 南拳媽媽's Lara's collaboration with Jay Chau on his snake song.

From the looks of it, they've been around for a few years with 5 albums.  I'll have to look into getting some in the future.  But I was able to check out their videos on YouTube and Lara's collab with Jay.  Very strong group.

I am finding more and more that I like in the Taiwan pop music scene.  I've sorta given up on the American music scene.  I buy 3 taiwan CDs vs 1 american nowadays.  To bad my chinese will never good enough to get in on the Karaoke stuff.

Here's a recent song from 南拳媽媽, 下雨天 (rainy day) and Lara in Jay's snake song.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dual blogging

I've been blogging since late 2006 on Xanga.  I've found Xanga difficult to use and I wanted an autodraft option.  I am giving a try.

I blog mostly about Taiwan music, movies, and television idol dramas.   But I also include random stuff that happens to me on a day to day basis.  But in general, its a view on pop culture in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore with an Chinese American flavor.  I do comment on Asian American culture as well, but sparingly.

In the future, I will be slowly moving all my post from xanga over here.  I currently have 102 post over there, so I'll fill in the days here with post from my xanga side.

Thanks for tuning in.  It's your time wasted.

XM Radio

Originally posted on xanga.

I got XM Radio as a 3 month subscription trial when I pick up my sweet 2008 Honda Odyssey back in June. They ran a $4.99 per month special, 3 months only, that I jump on. So, in essence, I have XM radio for roughly $15 for 6 months. Not bad. I really liked the the trance and 80s heavy metal channels.

But, 2 days ago, on 11/12, they merge or did a new lineup change in conjunction with their Sirius radio merge.

Well, half my programmed stations disappeared and other random ones appeared. Just crazy, imagine my disdain as I am trying to figure this out as I am driving! Driving! Most stations have DJs and I don't recall any of them mentioning this. I do not frequent the XM Radio website. I did not give them my email when I signed up. But no snail mail later?

Nothing! I will not be continuing my subscription once its up in December. I wonder how that works, will it just disappear?

The price has got to come down for me to even consider it in the future. I don't even have cable/dish.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

High School Days

Originally posted on xanga.

So, recently, a new phenomenon has been happening to me on Facebook. Getting back in touch with people that I went to High School with.

So, I looked at the rest of the people listed as part of my class.

What the heck, I don't know most of the 50+ people currently listed there. I go look for my yearbook. Can't find it. On a recent trip back to my parents, I find it.

I look at my yearbook and I don't know any of these people too. What's going on. Is my memory that bad?

My class was roughly 550+ and I can't remember more than like 20 of them.

So sad.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

愛的發聲練習 - My So-Called Love - Upcoming

Originally posted on xanga.

I am looking forward to the new Taiwan movie 愛的發聲練習 being released on 11/21. I probably won't get to see until much later. It stars 大S, 彭于晏 and 張孝全.

Check out the trailer and the recent appearance on 康熙来了 on 11/10 to promote it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Greezy Food

Originally posted on xanga.

I should really start taking pictures of the food I eat. Its nasty, greezy and down right bad for me.

I went to Colima Burger and Farmer boys all within 5 days!

I need to run a gazillion miles to work this all off.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

命中註定我愛你 (Destiny to Love/Fated to Love You) Final Thoughts

Originally posted on xanga.

I finally finished watching 命中註定我愛你 this past week. I wrote a brief description of it back in September.

I picked up the OST as well which happened to be very good.

The dramas happens to be one of the better ones I've seen recently. I only finish a whole idol drama about 50% of the time.

The story did drag on at the end and I was actually surprised that I didn't fast forward that much.

Its a drama I've recommended my wife to watch. You should probably pick it up and check it out too.


Originally posted on xanga.

What it is about Facebook that makes everyone get on it so religiously?

If you look at the activities of your friends, its constant and all they various groups of friends you have do very different things.

I couldn't join in the beginning because you needed a EDU email address. But once they took that restriction off, the floodgates have been open.

Unlike friendster and myspace, I actually enjoy using Facebook. I don't mind it. It was always a struggle to stay up on friendster and myspace.

Facebook has also become people's photo albums. I am guessing that flickr is jealous.

I think Facebook has met that delicate balance for a social networking. Its doing what google did to the industry back in the day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fatal Contact - 黑拳

Originally posted on xanga.

I recently had the chance to re-watch Fatal Contact (黑拳) while washing a boatload of dishes one night. It stars Wu Jing (吳京) as an Chinese opera performer sucked into the ruthless world of underground street fighting.

The films two females lead are from the Cookies, Miki Yeung and Theresa Fu.

The film has several fight scenes and builds like a video game. The fights get progressively harder and more dangerous.

Eventually, the characters are further explored and fleshed out.

Tragedy prevails and like many HK movies of the past, its not an happy ending.

However, the last scene does inspire and make you think of "what could have been".

When I first watched this film a year or so ago, I thought it was awesome. At least the fighting was. I actually fast forwarded through most of the non action. But this time around, I couldn't do it as I was washing dishes. I actually caught the story and thought it was quite morbid.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History In the Making

Originally posted on xanga.

The USA elected its 44th president tonight.

It is history in the making for the United States.

The US economy needs fixing. The housing market needs to be stabilized. We've got energy issues to address.

Oh, there's those wars we're in too.

Lots of fixing.

I got out and voted. I hope you did too.